Trips to Lapland to meet Father Christmas might be out of the equation this year but Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland and “Official Hometown of Santa Claus”, has made sure there’s still plenty of Christmas cheer to go around for agents and their clients to enjoy from home.
Last month, Visit Rovaniemi took viewers on a special virtual trip to the Arctic Circle, officially opening the Christmas season with a Facebook live broadcast featuring singing elves, season’s greetings from a husky handler and his dogs, and even a special message from Santa Claus himself.
The broadcast, which can be viewed on Visit Rovaniemi’s Facebook page, also included a visit to the Santa Claus Main Post Office, where the elves were busy sorting all the mail that has arrived from children around the world.
Clients who visit Rovaniemi next year can visit the post office, meet the elves and send a letter to their loved ones, which will be stamped with a special Arctic Circle postmark.
Other unmissable experiences for clients planning a trip next year include a visit to the Arctic Circle Husky Park, which is home to more than 100 Siberian Huskies and offers a range of safaris.
Father Christmas can be visited every day of the year in the Santa Claus Village, and visitors can opt to stay nearby, with accommodation ranging from hotels to glass igloos that are perfect for northern lights spotting.
Tour operators are gearing up for 2021 Lapland trips. For example, Regent Holidays has created a new Christmas Log Cabin break including three nights staying in a cabin in the snow-covered forest near Rovaniemi.
The operator expects plenty of demand for 2021 and beyond. “Trips to Rovaniemi to see Santa are real bucket-list experiences, and we anticipate there will be a great deal of pent-up demand from families.
The limited season and nature of the trips mean that demand is likely to be extremely high, and people will be booking even further ahead than usual,” says product manager Andrea Godfrey.
So, despite these uncertain times, one thing is for sure: Father Christmas will be ready and waiting to meet clients once again in Rovaniemi next year.